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Echoes: Promote ASAP or Promote at Max Level

Promotion Preferences in Echoes  

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  1. 1. Do you generally prefer to promote units ASAP or promote units at max level?

    • I generally prefer to promote Echoes units ASAP
      217
    • I generally prefer to promote Echoes units at max level
      63


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So in Fire Emblem Echoes, in most cases would you recommend promoting characters as soon as possible or promoting them at max level? What's your reason for your promotion preference? Also, do you have any exceptions to your choice in certain cases? (Eg: promoting ASAP except for Alm and Celica who you get to max level first, promoting at max level for everyone except for characters who can do the mercenary promotion loop)

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In between. I always wait at least 'till level 10. Also, if a unit has 60 or more exp and is ready to promote, I'll grind in the dungeon and get that last level before promoting. Most of my units got promoted around level 11 to 15.

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For playing through the story normally with no real mind about end-game (Act 6 and the postgame dungeon Thabes), promote as soon as possible. The exceptions are Alm and Celica who I want to try and get to 20 before their respective promotions. // For future runs, I may try not promoting Mages and Clerics until 20 since they only have one promotion instead of two. I would also say Pegasus Knights, but for minimal grinding, Falcon Knights are best obtained quickly due to their Banish skill.

Now, with sights on the end-game, doing the Dread Fighter loop, or using the Pitchfork, I will wait until the character reaches 20 before promoting. Characters in lower tier classes level much faster than in higher tier ones, making powerleveling outside of DLC a bit easier. Now, if only we had unlimited Pitchforks...

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I promoted the four villagers at max level and it really paid off. They're practically invincible and nothing's cooler than warping Faye into the middle of the battlefield and watching her kill everything that approaches in the enemy turn.

I don't have the patience to do the same with the other units, so I just promoted them either at the earliest level or a few levels after.

Though with that one DLC, it's really easy to grind anyone to max level if you choose. 

Edited by bufkus

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For the most part you should promote as soon as possible, the stat gains from promoting are just bumps up to a base level instead of a set number of increases.

But, if you want to try maxing out units with Star Jacinths, then wait till 20. If you use a Star Jacinth, then you should gain more stats from those extra 8-10 levels compared to the promotion gains.

 

When I played, I tried to wait for everyone to gain the ability to promote before I actually did promote. I also wanted to do it before end of an Act. So, end of Act 3 everyone was in tier 2. End of Act 4, most people were in tier 3 (if they had one) or were very close. This worked well for me.

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Promote ASAP, because your Thabe units are probably going to be whatever dreadfighters you have left to loop infinitely. This ain't fates where 20/20 is barely enough on hard mode.

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Unless you want to grind, promote ASAP. Your promotion gains will be more immediately useful, and they'll last you through the whole game.

Only hold off if you decide you want everyone to be able to tackle post-game stuff.

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Don't expect to enjoy grinding characters past 10. Experience gains are mostly dependent of level regardless of class tier. And by the time you reach 10, grinding starts to become an actual grind and thus not any fun for the small reward. The only characters I consider waiting for are the villagers since level 3 is extremely quick to reach, and a few extra stats can ensure they don't fall off as early as chapter 1. As soon as you reach the first shrine, grind if you want, just don't progress too far in the game past that point without promotions - villagers are incompetent in a fight. Also if somebody's ready to promote but 30 or less exp away from their next level, I'll usually take a minute to grind that final level out of them

Edited by Gustavos

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I wait until level 10 then promote, I do grind a bit since I bought the season pass it still takes a long time to reach level 20 and I can't take that much grinding.

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A lot of people are exaggerating Thabes a little bit. It's very unfair, but no, you don't need a team that's been grinded to 20/20(/20) to beat it. A regular team that promotes ASAP during the story will need to put on quite a few more levels, but by the time you hit the 20 cap your stats should be high enough to beat the dungeon. Don't expect to have units not named Alm, Celica or maybe Delthea 1v1 enemies in the lower floors, but you don't need to hit really high stats to have a shot.

In other words, promote ASAP for your good units, and only hold off on promoting units that you don't think you'll ever use in the main campaign, but feel like grinding up postgame.

Edited by SatsumaFSoysoy

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Alm and Celica are usually at their max level by the time they can promote, however due to the fact that their promotion is story based I'm not sure if this counts. In most cases I will promote ASAP, the exceptions would be if a given unit is almost at another level up or is still gaining loads of experience. However generally this is restricted to the beginning of the game. Another exception I have is if a unit who is ready to promote and some other units who are just a couple level ups shy of promoting then I will wait till I can promote more units all at once instead of going back forth between the shrine and proceeding further on the map. Due to promoting ASAP it is very easy to go full circle at least once if not more with any mercenary line unit even on runs with minimal grinding. The one time I did not promote a merc again was during the late game. I had Grey as a Dread Fighter and he was ready to promote to Villager...again. I was having difficulty navigating through a particular dungeon and did not want to be bothered with finding a Mila shrine, also Grey was strong enough at the time.

Edited by SavageVolug
I forgot one last point

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Going to update my original post regarding Thabes, the postgame dungeon.

Floors 1-5 are definitely doable if one promotes as soon as possible (save for Alm and Celica), but Floor 6 and beyond will begin testing the limits of your teams. I decided to "chicken out" since my 20/20 Alm had some difficulty handling the enemies (Alm was not fast enough) while my other guys outside of Gray would likely get slaughtered. Of course, if one loves spamming Invoke, then one can theoretically handle anything, but I wanted to rely on my actual units to tank and handle foes.

The biggest thing if heading in early is to try and keep the enemies separated and take them on one at a time (so they do not reinforce each other on the battle map) or just plain avoid them. I haven't tackled on the post-game dungeon boss yet since I wanted to do the Dread Fighter loop on Gray and Saber as well as use a Pitchfork on Faye.

Also, regarding "end-game," I mean by trying to max out all the stats and not necessarily facing the enemies. Thabes is difficult, but it is no Apotheosis like Awakening. Maxing out character stats completely tends to trivialize the dungeon.

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I ended up doing a metric ton of grinding during Chapter 3, and a bit during Chapter 4, it was tedious and I hated it. (Playing on Hard Classic.) Yet, I felt I needed those stat increases to succeed in some of the chapters. And Silque's Invoke was invaluable for me.

I'd say it varies who promotes late or early. Villagers and Tier 1 units, and Myrmidons I promoted ASAP. Falco Knights I was very tempted to promote early, but held off on. For Forsyth an early Barony makes sense given his low Defense growth, but Lukas and Valbar didn't need one, the promotion bonuses were small, and the Bow-halving skill is useless on these high Def units given there aren't anti-armor bows. Similarly, I never really entertained an early promotion for Mages, because Sage class bases are bad, and I never saw a need for girls with swords due to their naturally low Defense (and extra healing via Restore wasn't incentive enough for either). Pallies and Bow Knights likewise didn't gain a lot from promotion- some HP and an extra point of move- not worth it. Clerics were fine unpromoted too.

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I never liked grinding, especially early on, with the villagers, it doesn't seem rewarding to gain stats. Those early "base" stats bumps are massive. I do wait out later on though, because those boosts aren't as massive.

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It depends. For villagers and for T1 units that can eventually get to T3 I promoted instantly, while for everyone else I generally waited until 20. for endgame I think the only T3 units I had were Grey and Leon.

Honestly I found that even when promoting ASAP, the promotion gains always felt a little underwhelming. Especially for classes like mages that didn't even gian movement on promotion.

That said, it probably doesn't matter much. Not like you need even close to max stats for anything before the postgame, and even that's doable without them.

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The base stats for promotions are pretty damned low, it's unlikely that you'll increase more than a few points in about two stats. At that point, unless you're a villager turning into a mage, literally nothing happens from promotion besides the new soldier skills, +1 HP and +1 Mov. All you're doing by promoting early is reducing the number of levels you have. It's nearly always preferable to wait even if we preclude the concept of grinding. Echoes didn't change that, it actually made that more true.

Besides, giving Kliff a bunch of villager levels before mage nerfs his defense growth to a merely respectable 30% turns him into a lightning-fast, nigh-indestructible tank, surpassing basically every other magic user in the entire game.

Edited by Alastor15243

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I promote at max level.  You aren't losing anything by waiting, and you'll have higher stats in the long run.

I regret promoting a few of my units early in the game before I knew better.  I promoting Lukas early, and the loss of levels really shows, when I compare him to Forsyth, who's better than Lukas in just about everything.  My villagers could have benefited from extra levels, especially Gray.

7 hours ago, Alastor15243 said:

The base stats for promotions are pretty damned low, it's unlikely that you'll increase more than a few points in about two stats. At that point, unless you're a villager turning into a mage, literally nothing happens from promotion besides the new soldier skills, +1 HP and +1 Mov. All you're doing by promoting early is reducing the number of levels you have. It's nearly always preferable to wait even if we preclude the concept of grinding. Echoes didn't change that, it actually made that more true.

Besides, giving Kliff a bunch of villager levels before mage nerfs his defense growth to a merely respectable 30% turns him into a lightning-fast, nigh-indestructible tank, surpassing basically every other magic user in the entire game.

I agree 100%.  The bonuses aren't really that great, and you'll usually get far superior stats by waiting to promote.  A level 20 unpromoted will pretty much always have several points in everything over a unit who promoted right away.  Especially in Act 1, even on hard, it's definitely playable with unpromoted units.  The only time I ran into trouble was the very beginning with the Shield Merc.

I feel the promotion "bonuses" are just a safety net to prevent having horrible stats, rather than some massive increase to your power level that you should go for right away.

Edited by Rezzy

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Waiting till max level takes forever after a certain number of level ups exp gain is painfully slow, the game is designed to encourage promoting ASAP. And everyone I know who has played Gaiden all say that there's no point to waiting. True you might get SLIGHTLY better stats by waiting but by automatically promoting you can then instantly boost your EXP gain. Mageknight404 covered Gaiden he encourages promoting ASAP, Ghast has a video on Echoes tips and he recommends the same thing and both of these individuals I consider quite knowledgeable not only on Gaiden but Echoes and other more classic Fire Emblem games in general

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When I played Echoes for the first time, I promoted everyone as early as possible.

A HUGE mistake on my part, since all of my units on Alm's side, except for maybe two (Delthea and Alm himself) were too weak to really deal or take damage from anything without dying in one or two hits by the time Act IV rolled around. On Celica's side, things looked a bit brighter, but only because I focused solely on 10 units at a time and benched the others as early as possible - a decision I only reached because the enemies are a little lacking in terms of numbers on Celica's side. Gist is, I had to restart my game since I couldn't get past Nuibaba's Abode without having at least one of my peeps constantly dying and those two Dread Fighters were too fast and too strong for any of my units to reliably deal with, especially combined with Medusa and all of those Arcanists running around, who would pick off anyone physically tanky enough to take the Dread Fighters, who would in turn slaughter anyone with high enough Res to take the magical hits.

In all honesty, I wouldn't recommend promoting as early as possible to anyone who plays this game for the first time and has never played Gaiden. My second run, where I waited unit everybody reached level 20 befor promoting, was still difficult enough, especially the late Act IV chapters, the Finale and Thabes, but it was finally doable. I did a lot of grinding and had everyone on Tier 3 by the time I reached Act IV, which is what you want to have if you play normally, anyways... and which you also can't really do if you just play through the game normally. And you don't waste potentially strong units to bring along to Thabes, so there's that.

Now, I wouldn't consider myself a tactical genius or a Fire Emblem veteran / master / MLG or anything of that sort, but the game does like to throw curveballs at you from time to time (high stat enemies who both double and outdamage you being the biggest thing to mention... friggin' Gold Knights / floating eyeballs) and even if you know a little bit of the ol' strategy, if you've never played the game or Gaiden before, you're in for a bumpy ride. At least I was.

I will try to promote ASAP on a second run, but I don't see how that gives you any advantages whatsoever, honestly, especially not if you consider the high stats most of the late Act IV enemies and the Final Boss and his cronies as well as the bosses leading up to him have. I mean, yeah, you HAVE a promoted unit, but if their stats are still in the single digits and they're neither really hitting nor doubling, least of all surviving anything, then... well, you can basically bench them. It's not like promoting makes their weak growth rates any better, either and if their stats only increase to match the promoted units bases, which you will have ideally surpassed by the time you promote anyway, so what's even the point of promoting ASAP, except giving yourself an incredulously hard time if you've never played this before?

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I said that I prefer to promote ASAP, and yet I'm starting to think the best option might be a happy medium between that and waiting until level 20.

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I promoted everyone ASAP and never had any trouble during the main story. Played on Normal/Classic. Maybe waiting a few levels might help on Hard, but not all the way until level 20.

No one turned out bad and needed benching except Clive, but that's just typical Clive. Boey ended up a little RNG screwed, but that stuff just happens sometimes.

Edited by Korath88

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I promoted ASAP and didn't have any difficulty with anyone and I was playing on Hard classic. I actually loved the fact that the game throws 3rd tier units at you especially when I had my units at 3rd tier too. I was like "We get to fight Gold Knights on this chapter? Awesome! Yes! Some strong enemies to fight."

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In general, the rule is: characters that are good / lucky / in classes with bad caps should ideally wait a little bit (although max level is crazy).  Characters that are bad / unlucky should promote ASAP.  

Reasoning: Every stat where you aren't at the minimum for the next tier is basically a "wasted" upgrade.  A unit who'd get only the pity +1 HP has all their growths active; a unit that will receive a boost to 3/6 stats that can be boosted basically has their growths cut in half, so each incremental level isn't worth that much.  So you're not really giving up that much by promoting right now.  Now, for a unit in a class with garbage minimums like Sage, each level is much more potent, so waiting until ~L15-16 for the likes of Boey or Luthier is reasonable; in the same way, Delthea has such amazing growths that stalling on Priestess for a bit to try and get to L16-17 will help a tad.  The endgame is not so crazy hard you need to max yourself out, and if you are having trouble with it after promoting early, then a mild amount of grinding should fix the problem - which will be far less burdensome than doing a crazy amount of pre-emptive grinding earlier considering how hard XP gain falls off at high level.

The only asterisk is Thabes, and it's not really a big one IMO.  Stopping the game with Duma is reasonable, and if you do tackle Thabes, you don't need all your characters at uber max potential, just a few.  And if Thabes is truly walling you, you can cheeze it with the DF->Villager loop.

A fun example:

Tobin as a 4/8/11/15 Bow Knight:

HP: 45   Atk: 20    Skl: 22   Spd: 13   Lck: 14   Def: 14   Res: 4

Tobin as a 6/10/15/15 Bow Knight:

HP: 45   Atk: 20    Skl: 26   Spd: 14   Lck: 14   Def: 14   Res: 4

Tobin as a 6/15/18/15 BK:

HP: 45   Atk: 23    Skl: 31   Spd: 16   Lck: 19   Def: 15   Res: 4

Those gains are way, way too minor for the crazy amount of extra grinding you'd need to do.  +3 damage, +10% crit chance, and mildly better speed.  Okay, fine, I picked a character whose growths weren't so amazing, but picking a case where it would make more sense:

Delthea as a 14/15 Priestess:

HP: 35   Atk: 30    Skl: 16   Spd: 25   Lck: 25   Def: 8   Res: 16

Delthea as a 20/15 Priestess:

HP: 35   Atk: 34    Skl: 17   Spd: 29   Lck: 27   Def: 8   Res: 17

This is a nice boost, to be sure, but it's still not THAT big a difference.  Makes it easier to nuke Dread Fighters through Apotrope I suppose.  I certainly wouldn't think that missing out would be THAT tragic.

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You don't really even need to grind to get a few levels on your villagers before promoting. Just play through the first 3-4 battles, and then do the "kill 20 bandits" quest (which might techecaly be grinding, but the game counts it as an official quest). Presto, everyone's level 8 -9. Honestly, waiting to 10 or so before promoting villagers is really useful for minimal effort. Past that, I would not recomend it because of how grindy it gets.

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